Lewy body dementia is one of the more progressive forms of this category of brain disease. It is progressive and aggressive, leading to a sharp decline in reasoning, thinking, and independent functioning. Abnormal microscopic deposits develop, causing damage to brain cells over time. This type of dementia is the third most common, after Alzheimer’s and vascular, accounting for around 25 percent of dementia cases. Patients with this disease experience a sharp decrease in mental abilities that can manifest through behaviors as well as uncontrollable physical symptoms.
Symptoms. Symptoms of Lewy body dementia are varied and range from moderate to severe. Changes in reasoning and thinking are the most common, including varying degrees of alertness and confusion that change significantly from one day to the next. Symptoms can also resemble those of Parkinson’s disease, such as suffering from a hunched posture, rigid muscles, and issues with balance. These changes in movement are particularly common, with more advanced patients displaying a shuffling gait. Visual hallucinations and difficulty interpreting visual information, along with general delusions and acting out on dreams, are also commonly reported. Sleep difficulties, fluctuating attention, and emotional changes, such as the development of apathy, are also known symptoms.